Australia financial unit admits huge Vatican transfer error


Australia’s financial intelligence agency has admitted it vastly misreported the amount of money transferred from the Vatican to Australia over the past six years by nearly $1.5 billion

The Vatican noted a report in The Australian newspaper which said the country’s financial intelligence agency, Austrac, had informed the Australian Senate of the mistake. The newspaper said the miscalculation was believed to have resulted from a computer coding error.

The Vatican confirmed last week that it was working with Austrac to get to the bottom of what the Vatican said was a “huge discrepancy” in the agency’s data, given that the number of transactions and the amount of money reportedly sent were vastly out of line with the Vatican’s financial reality.

Austrac had provided the Vatican’s annual transactions since 2014 in response to a parliamentary inquiry. The astonishing amount fueled speculation that money from the Holy See had helped influence the Australian criminal prosecution of Cardinal George Pell, who was convicted and then acquitted of historic sex abuse.

In a statement Wednesday, the Vatican said it “repeats its respect for the institutions of the country and its satisfaction with the collaboration of the concerned entities.”


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